I have a confession to make: we let our toddler stay up late with us on New Year’s Eve and I did not love it.
I love my kid. I love to be with her, to hang out, and take her places. When she is with me, she is my focus. Every move I make takes into account its impact on her and her day; not much of it is ever about me, and that is absolutely, hands-down A-OK with me. That’s my job, to take care of her, and I do it with love and without question.
The times when she is not with me, other than being at work, are few and far between. I am rarely home alone, and because my partner works nights, he rarely has an opportunity to take her somewhere so I can have a few minutes to myself. If he is home I am free to run out and get some quick errands done, but it’s never for long because he needs to sleep during the day.
I don’t know about you, Other Moms (or you, Dads!), but nap time and bedtime are sacred. I am not a very good mama without time to replenish my stock of patience and kindness. Seriously: I need that time to get back to myself and work off the frustration of parenting a strong-willed, fierce, independent little two-year old. Nap time and bedtime is Mama Time. So when hubs suggested we let her go til she couldn’t go no mo, I was frustrated but let it go. We had a totally nice evening, with lots of fun-filled chilling on the couch, watching Disney movies and eating our faces off.
I see all of the pictures today of smiling families happily ringing in the new year together. My toddler went to bed at 11:00 pm, and I felt robbed of time with my husband, time for myself, time to just sit and not be tugged at or climbed on or whined to.
I never understood the importance of being alone with yourself from time to time until I was never allowed to pee alone. When we become parents or families we give up so much of ourselves that our own needs can get lost in the shuffle.
My daughter is (finally) having her afternoon nap, my husband is sleeping, and I am writing. When she gets up from her nap I will be a better mama to her because I have had some time to fill my tanks back up, to use the words of Andrea Nair, parenting educator and creator of the Taming Tantrums App that I could not live without.
Don’t lose yourself in the sea of parenthood. It is OKAY to still want to be us, to keep ourselves at the top of the list too.
Take time for your hobbies, your passions, and your weekends away with the girls – WITHOUT GUILT.
I do not do resolutions, but this is one I am determined to stick to. Unlike my going to the gym resolutions…